Looking for a new family car? Well you might be considering the Audi A3, Vauxhall Astra or SEAT Leon – the top 3 family cars nominated in the What Car? 2017 Awards.

We have drilled the numbers to unveil the true cost of maintenance for these cars.

As the leading online marketplace for car servicing and repairs in the UK, WhoCanFixMyCar.com (WCFMC) is able to analyse tens of thousands of lines of data, in order to produce insights on the price of repair and servicing for cars in the UK.

As part of our analysis, we will provide you with vital information which could help you make a more informed decision when deciding to buy a new family car.

Insight #1 – The Audi A3 is the most expensive on average when considering all job types

The Audi A3 is the most expensive on average when considering all job types
(The average cost of repair and maintenance for all three cars for all job categories)

When considering all job types, the Audi A3 comes out the most expensive on average.

With an average cost of £207.18 for all service and repair work, the A3 is 11% more expensive to maintain than the Astra (£184.15) and the Leon (£183.60).

In order to understand why they have stack up this way, we have dived deeper into the data to reveal what jobs are impacting those price differences.

Insight #2 – Brakes and Exhausts + Steering and Suspension is where the cost gap increases for the A3

Brakes and Exhausts + Steering and Suspension is where the cost gap increases for the A3
(The average cost of routine repair and service work for all three cars)

To investigate why there is such a significant difference, we have firstly analysed the costs of routine maintenance (Brakes and Exhausts, Electrical and Batteries, Servicing and MOT and Steering and Suspension) for all three cars.

Brake and Exhaust repair as well as Steering and Suspension maintenance costs have the biggest price difference between the A3 and the other two brands.

The A3 is 9% more expensive than the Leon for brake and exhaust repair and 15% more expensive than the Astra.

When it comes to steering and suspension, the A3 (£204.84) is 16% more expensive than the Leon (£172.80) and a significant 23% more expensive than the Astra (£157.64).

The Astra (£164.39) tops the pile for Electrical and Batteries at 17% more expensive than the A3 (£136.86) and 24% more expensive than the Leon (£125.64).

Quick insights

The most expensive routine repair or service for each car is;

i. Astra = Electrical and Batteries – £164.39

ii. A3 = Steering and Suspension – £204.84

iii. Leon = Steering and Suspension – £172.80

The least expensive routine repair or service for each car is;

i. Astra = Servicing and MOT – £130.74

ii. A3 = Electrical and Batteries – £136.86

iii. Leon = Electrical and Batteries – £125.64

Insight #3 Analysing the cost of non routine repair work

Analysing the cost of non routine repair work
(The average cost of non-routine repair and service work for all three cars)

When analysing repairs which are non-routine (typically costlier repairs), the Audi A3 has much closer costs than routine services or repairs as demonstrated in our previous insight.

The costs of Clutch and Gearbox Repairs for the A3 is only 0.47% more expensive compared to the Astra and for Security, Locking and Keys the A3 is only 2.80% more.

The Leon comes in cheapest on the Clutch and Gearbox Repairs (£423.18) but most expensive for Bodywork (£388.22).

Insight #4 – The A3 is consistently more expensive over time

The A3 is consistently more expensive over time
(The average cost of maintenance for all three cars across every job type from 1-15 years old)

When looking at the maintenance costs of each car over a period of time for every category, the A3 is clearly the most expensive to repair and service.

Surprisingly, the Leon dips significantly in maintenance costs in its 9th year whereas the other two are the most expensive to maintain at this age.

key repairs compared
(The average cost of bodywork + steering and suspension repair at 9 years old)

As shown, A3 drivers are having to pay significantly more for Bodywork and repairs in the 9th year.

Although due to this type of work often being as a result of an accident we cannot assume all A3 drivers have one when the car hits 9 years old!

However, when the costs of Steering and Suspension are considered, the A3 is 50.85% more expensive than the Leon.

Which cars are the most expensive to maintain?

As consistently highlighted across our data sets, the Audi A3 is the most expensive car to maintain compared the Vauxhall Astra and Seat Leon.

This is a fact made especially interesting when you consider that the A3 won the Best Family Car 2017 in the WhatCar? Awards.

If you are considering buying an Audi A3, Seat Leon or Vauxhall Astra, remember to factor in the cost of maintenance, as it is an unavoidable expense you will incur during the course of your ownership.

Over 43,330 lines of data have been analysed to produce the results in this article.

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